Importance of Perinatal (Perinatal) Mental Health 2021

 Importance of Perinatal (Perinatal) Mental Health 2021

Importance of prenatal and postnatal mental health

Emotional problems during prenatal or postpartum affect the mental state of mothers, daily work, work performance, marital relationship, and the development of the baby.

During pregnancy, mothers suffering from depression may be at higher risk of miscarriage and premature delivery. Research findings suggest that when mothers have depressive or anxiety symptoms during pregnancy, they are at a much higher risk of depression after delivery and their infants have more difficulty controlling their emotions and behavior.

After delivery, mothers may be at a higher risk of suffering from mood disorders, due to challenges in hormonal changes, role changes, childcare and family problems. Postpartum depression can affect parents 'ability to take care of their child and may affect infants' physical health, cognitive development as well as emotional and behavioral development. Partners of mothers with postpartum depression are also at greater risk of suffering from emotional disturbances. Thus, it is very important to take care of the mental health of women from prenatal to postnatal period.

Emotional disturbances may occur in the prenatal period

Being pregnant brings excitement in the family. Yet it should not be overlooked that mothers may have different feelings during pregnancy, including anxiety, helplessness and irritability, etc. Pregnant women may experience a lot of physical changes and discomfort. Their lifestyle may have to be adjusted. Therefore, their emotions may be affected. Pregnant women may also worry a lot about fetal development or postnatal childcare.

Research findings suggest that some factors are related to childbirth anxiety and depression, such as the mother's self-esteem, her marital relationship, her in-laws relationship, and social support. To maintain emotional health during pregnancy, mothers must learn to appreciate themselves, especially being successful in meeting demands and accepting limits during pregnancy. She should also talk to other mothers to increase social support, or talk to someone she can trust to relieve the crisis. If emotional disturbances persist, the mother should seek professional help as soon as possible.

Major risk factors of postpartum depression

The exact causes of postpartum depression are unknown. Research findings indicate that the factors listed in the table below are related to an increased risk of postnatal depression:

Diagnostic factors

Previous psychological conditions include depression and anxiety disorder

Prenatal depression or anxiety

psychological factors

Anxiety-oriented personality

Lack of social support

Bad marital relationship

Dissatisfied relationship with in-laws

Domestic violence

Financial problems

Stressful life

Obstetric- and child-related factors

Perinatal complications

Emergency caesarean section

Difficulty in previous miscarriage / pregnancy

Unplanned pregnancy

Congenital diseases / premature baby

Postpartum mood problems

There are three main categories of postpartum mood problems: (1) postpartum blues, (2) postpartum depression and (3) postpartum psychosis, each of which differs in its prevalence, clinical presentation, severity, and level of management.

Post natal blues

It affects about 40% - 80% of women after delivery.

 It is a transient state that includes mood changes, tearful, sleep disturbances, and irritability. Their symptoms usually occur 3 to 5 days after delivery.

 The symptoms are relatively mild and usually disappear spontaneously within a few days.

Postpartum depression

 It affects about 13% - 19% of women after delivery.

 Its symptoms are similar to the occurrence of depression experienced at other times. The onset is usually within 6 weeks but can occur anytime within a year of the child's birth.

 Most mothers with depression after childbirth recover if they are recognized early and given appropriate treatment and support by the family

Postnatal psychosis

It affects about 0.1% - 0.5% of women after delivery.

Its major symptoms include hearing non-existent voices, bizarre thoughts of harm by others, and thoughts of self-harm or child-loss. Symptoms usually begin within 14 days of delivery.

It is a psychiatric emergency. It is necessary to take it to a psychiatric doctor immediately or to the accident and emergency hospital department

Early detection of depression after delivery

Major symptoms of postpartum depression include:

Persistent periods of poor mood, such as feeling depressed and depressed, cause a cry or cry without reason but tears do not come.

Loss of interest in almost all activities (not even interest in your child)

Trouble feeling hungry

Trouble sleeping

Fatigue or lack of energy most of the time

Difficulty focusing or making decisions

Feeling guilty, worthless and disappointed

Extreme anxiety and irritability

If the above symptoms persist for 2 weeks or more and have significantly affected the daily functioning of the woman then professional assistance is required as soon as possible.

Tips on prevention

Proper preparation before pregnancy which includes appropriate family and financial planning.

Realistic expectations about paternity to help adjust to life after delivery.

Learn more about pregnancy, childbirth and childcare to reduce anxiety through various means, for example join childcare and paternity workshops at the Maternal and Child Health Center, in relevant talks and workshops organized by other organizations Participate etc.

Share experiences with other parents and increase social support.

Cultivate effective communication with partner and other family members to increase understanding and support.

Get enough rest and sleep, for example arrange home and childcare support after delivery

Take some time out for leisure and leisure activities, for example go for a walk or call friends

Eat healthy foods Do not smoke and avoid alcoholic beverages.

Ways to get help

Consult a family physician or obstetrician for initial evaluation and management, and if necessary, go for specialist services.

Seek a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist in the private sector for professional evaluation and treatment

Go to a social worker or counselor to assess and be admitted.

If the mother is suffering from mood problems after delivery, she may contact the Maternal and Child Health Center in her residential area for initial evaluation and appropriate services and recruitment and to show nurses.

Consulting Services / Hotline

The Samaritan Briefers Hong Kong 2389 2222

Suicide Prevention Services 2382 0000

Social Welfare Department 24-hour hotline 2343 2255

Hospital Authority Mental Health Direct (24 Hours) 2466 7350


health Department:

Family Health Service 24-Hour Information Hotline 21129900

Family Health Services Breastfeeding Hotline 3618 7450

24-hour health education hotline 2833 0111

 Family Healthcare Website

Primary Care Directoryexternal link

(You can find family doctor according to your needs using this directory)